Welcome to Innovation, the quarterly design publication of the Industrial Designers Society of America. Innovation reaches the IDSA membership, the CEOs of the Fortune 500 and many, many schools, associations and design offices around the world. Each issue is created around three basic goals; the first, to ensure quality in its content; the second, to make that content is exciting, both narratively and visually; and the third goal, to use Innovation as a vehicle for promoting dialogue within the design community. We encourage all IDSA members, or anyone reading this note, to help our publication achieve these ambitions.
Since being asked to lead this activity, my mind has been spinning with all the topics and issues many of us have searched for in vain in design-related articles across many publications. I feel we have an incredible potential to cover these topics. Innovation can provide a frank, insider’s view and understanding of the many processes we and our colleagues have been exploring. "Everything you always wanted to know about innovation and design but were afraid to ask," is how I envision the possibilities we can investigate together.
What a great time to have the opportunity to explore more depth in our profession and the role we play. The value of design and innovation to business and the market are no longer debated. Business publications around the globe have embraced the value of design’s contribution to competitiveness and basic business acumen. We are in a golden age where design has been recognized as a full-fledged partner in the businesses that have achieved world-class processes. What remains to be uncovered are the specifics. How are these processes managed? What are specific tools that we and our partners can use? What new ways of focusing on successful approaches are being uncovered? The "new" news is the knowledge and techniques that are emerging to manage innovation in deeper, more detailed ways and, at the same time, foster creativity rather than stifle it.
While most companies have applied many of the attributes of innovation and design, only a small percentage have learned the processes to incorporate them well in their daily practices. And the culture of innovation in a corporate environment is even more important to embrace to use it naturally, constantly and pervasively—not merely to pay homage to design and innovation but to embody it throughout the corporation. The new frontiers in innovation are in the details, the processes and the management of all its permutations. It is as much a frontier for CEOs, marketing professionals and engineers as it is for designers. And new approaches to uncovering these tools are emerging now more than ever before.
Our Invitation to You
While some publications cover business primarily, and others cover design for consumers and professionals, there are few places for us as professionals to share our insights into how we uncover successful innovation and design techniques. Since Innovation is in a unique role to bring state-of-the-art thinking to the profession, the coming issues will begin to highlight more real insights and shared studies. By observing processes in action, we can learn both the successful program outcomes as well as those that failed. We all know that learning occurs from our mistakes as much as from our successes. With this renewed focus, we want you to embrace this publication as your own, and we welcome your articles and content ideas. Your contributions will make for a richer and more connected interaction that all of us can benefit from. Consider Innovation an open forum for exploration and a source for colleague-to-colleague dialogue. For those who have not been part of the regular set of contributing authors, please think of this as a new opportunity for involvement.
Are there some things you’d like to see covered in future issues? Let us know. Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org